The intersection of entrepreneurship and selling: an interdisciplinary review, framework, and future research agenda

Russell S. Matthews, Dominic M. Chalmers, Simon S. Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Selling is integral to entrepreneurship, yet it has rarely been a focal topic of analysis for entrepreneurship scholars. To address this, we undertake a broad-ranging systematic literature review of research that in some way explores selling within entrepreneurial contexts. We inductively develop a framework that orders extant research into selling antecedents, activities, contexts, and outcomes. Then, drawing on these entrepreneurship-selling intersections, we suggest opportunity theory can be extended by integrating critical insights from selling literatures. In particular, we address ego-centric views of entrepreneurship which prioritize entrepreneurial agency, and advocate for the incorporation of customer agency into synchronized processes of opportunity identification, refinement, and exploitation. The article concludes that a promising avenue for future theory development resides in the study of situated sales interactions, which can serve as an empirical vista to the underexplored entrepreneur-customer nexus.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)691-719
Number of pages28
JournalJournal of Business Venturing
Issue number6
Early online date1 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Nov 2018


  • entrepreneurship
  • selling
  • market exchange
  • entrepreneurship-as-practice
  • opportunity

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